Author: Julian Miles, Staff Writer

The map on the wall shows a wash of orange with occasional zones of red or blue. Above is yellow, denoting the Canada-Alaska Alliance, below is green: Mexico. All bordered by the black of the oceans.
“D.C. has fallen.” Analyst Stevens touches a screen and Washington state turns orange.
Wing Commander Ashford looks up from his tablet.
“What’s the rest looking like?”
Analyst Radford turns to face him: “California and Texas are the biggest independents. If the treaty between Virginia and both Carolinas holds, they’ll form the next largest.”
“Hawaii. Already recognised by Mexico and China.”
“Not outliers, I want mainlanders that could chuck a spanner in the works.”
“Ohio and Pennsylvania are engaging in negotiations, purposes unknown. Given their respective military presences, it’ll be a political initiative rather than the use of overt force. Georgia could start something, but we’ll have to reassess after they’ve finished conquering Alabama.”
Ashford looks at the map.
“They could sucker punch the Virginia-Carolinas, which would throw the east coast into chaos.”
“In that case, my money is on New York to pull a blinder. Solid SDF, quality devolved mainline forces, all led by Termaine Grant.”
Stevens nods.
“I’d agree with that. By the time Georgia and Virginia-Carolinas work out something’s happening and settle their barney, NY could have a near-unshakeable grip.”
Ashford waves toward the ‘motivations’ desk.
“Anything to add, people?”
Analyst Carver walks over to join the conversation.
“We’re seeing significant migrations of non-white populations out of some former states. While they appear disorganised, they all have personnel willing and able to sort out supremacist and bandit encounters with effective lethal force. That sort of competence at ad-hoc combat means whichever state accepts them is going to gain significant veteran forces.”
“Evolved underground railroads. At least some have learned the lessons of history.”
He looks back at his analysts.
“So, who are our major players, influence-wise?”
Analyst Jones stands up.
“Rising above the rabble are the BKK, a hybrid of former SBC hardliners and KKK believers. They’ve got a lot of clout because they have many sympathisers, but they’re having trouble getting traction in the northern states. Even in the southern states, the Elvi are giving them all sorts of trouble. I’d expect escalating skirmishes for a year, breaking out into full-blown religious war after that, providing other factions don’t intercede. Making things more interesting, Trumpists have elevated their dead 45th to be the martyred agent of the Second Coming, with suitable levels of outrage to appeal to those who feel powerless and confused. Then we come to Aryan Nation, who have to be described as zealots with the very best training the late USA could provide. They have most of the former OMGs, too.”
Ashford frowns: “OMG?”
“Outlaw Motorcycle Gang. They’ve been around for decades and – when you get past the hooligans on loud motorcycles aspect – are highly organised criminal operations with networks of members that quite literally can be found everywhere.”
Standing up, he straightens his uniform.
“Time to brief the PM, then. She’s not going to be happy. Unless one of you can tell me who killed President Sanders?”
Analyst Dores stands up.
“Our investigations point to a lone actor with military experience, plus access to black market heavy weapons and countermeasures technology. Air Force One was downed by something powerful that didn’t register until it was within two hundred metres.”
Ashford smiles: “So the odds are that the fall of the USA was precipitated by a fanatical white man trying to make ‘his country’ safe. There’s irony and justice to that.”